The gruesome fighting game is back for its 10th edition.
Released in the spring of 2015, Mortal Kombat X marks the 10th main instalment in the Mortal Kombat series; ignoring expansions, cross-over titles, spin-offs and re-releases. It serves as a direct sequel to the 2011's highly successful reboot of the franchise, with this game's events taking place 20 years later.
Like its immediate predecessor, the character models and levels in Mortal Kombat X are rendered in 3D, but its core gameplay is closer to the series' original 2D era. This time around, however, the game features increased interaction with environments, gorier finishing moves and the addition of three fighting styles for each character.
So is the game another major success for developer NetherRealm Studios, or does it fail to live up to its prequel?
Gameplay and Modes
The combat system in Mortal Kombat X is very similar to that of the previous game, although players can now use the environment around them as a weapon. 'Fatality' moves - performed at the end of a fight to really emphasise superiority - are back and more brutal than ever, which will appeal to many Mortal Kombat fans.
A chief criticism aimed at fighting games is the limited appeal to lone players, but that is not the case here, with a vast array of single player game modes on offer. These include exhibition, practice and various 'tower' modes; like Survival, where players must battle numerous opponents, with their health carrying over between fights.
However, the main single player option is Story Mode, which has a compelling plot set 20 years after the previous game. This mode takes several hours to complete and does an excellent job of introducing players to the characters. Of course, the game also allows two players to square off against one another in several modes as well.
Characters and Variations
Mortal Kombat X comes with 24 playable characters, including most of the series favourites, like Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Liu Kang. In addition, it introduces various new characters to the franchise, such as Cassie Cage, the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade (who are both also on the roster).
The cast of 24 characters can be expanded through downloadable content, which takes the number of fighters up to 29. Two of these characters are guest characters, who will be instantly recognisable to film fanatics - Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, and Predator. Familiar faces Rain, Baraka, and Sindel appear as non-playable characters.
In addition to the 29 fighters, each character has three variations, with each variation having a different fighting style and moves list. For instance, Scorpion features one variation which is sword-based, while another relies primarily on fire-based attacks. This is a superb addition, providing players with a huge range of moves and styles to master.
Online Play and In-Game Purchases
As you would expect, Mortal Kombat X features a number of online gameplay options, allowing players to fight each other one-on-one, or join the Faction Wars. This latter option is a cross-platform online team mode, where gamers join one of five factions and try to win points for them.
In terms of faults, the PC version is prone to several technical issues, causing the game to crash or freeze at times; occasionally impacting upon online play as well. Moreover, in-game purchases allow for 'easy' Fatalities to be bought, which some players will feel has cheapened that aspect, removing the need to learn the lengthy combos.
Yet, regardless of these problems, Mortal Kombat X remains a very good fighting game, especially for single players. In the end, its large cast of characters, variety of fighting styles and numerous game modes ensure it is a more-than-worthy addition to the iconic series.